Sarah Ready | Josh and Gemma Make a Baby

The Book: 

Josh and Gemma Make a Baby by Sarah Ready
Published January 25th 2022 by Swift & Lewis Publishing LLC
Date read: January 1, 2022

The Characters: 

Josh and Gemma

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

Meet Gemma Jacobs. She’s driven, energetic, and a positive thinker. She has a great career working for famed self-help guru Ian Fortune, she lives in a cute studio apartment in Manhattan, and her family is supportive and loving (albeit a little kooky). Her life is perfect. Absolutely wonderful.

Except for one tiny little thing.

After a decade of disastrous relationships and an infertility diagnosis, Gemma doesn’t want a Mr. Right (or even a Mr. Right Now), she just wants a baby.

And all she needs is an egg, some sperm, and IVF.

So Gemma makes a New Year’s resolution: have a baby.

Josh Lewenthal is a laid back, relaxed, find-the-humor-in-life kind of guy. The polar opposite of Gemma. He’s also her brother’s best friend. For the past twenty years Josh has attended every Jacobs’ family birthday, holiday, and event – he’s always around.

Gemma knows him. He’s nice (enough), he’s funny (-ish), he’s healthy (she thinks) and he didn’t burn any ants with a magnifying glass as a kid. Which, in Gemma’s mind, makes him the perfect option for a sperm donor.

So Gemma wants to make a deal. An unemotional, businesslike arrangement. No commitments, just a baby.

To Gemma’s surprise, Josh agrees.

They have nothing in common, except their agreement to make a baby and their desire to keep things businesslike.

But the thing about baby-making…it’s hard to keep it businesslike, it’s nearly impossible to keep it unemotional, and it’s definitely impossible to keep your heart out of the mix. Because when you’re making a baby together, things have a way of starting to feel like you’re making other things too – like a life, and a family, and love. And when the baby-making ends, you wish that everything else didn’t have to end too.

The Review: 

This cute little rom-com was the cutest start to my 2022 reads! I listened to the audiobook (thanks NetGalley) while making a Reel of my 2021 annual roundup, which took way longer than I expected it to. The audiobook made the day fly by, though. I really enjoyed the narrator’s work, especially for a one-woman cast. And today was the perfect day to listen, since the book starts and ends on New Year’s Eve!

When I judged this book by its cover, I thought I was signing up for a cutesy baby daddy rom-com. Josh and Gemma ended up being so much more! There was definitely an emotional layer to this book that I wasn’t expecting. I found myself tearing up at some scenes (TW: infertility and loss) and cracking up laughing at others. 

Generally I prefer romances with dual perspectives, but SR did an amazing job of showing us Josh’s thoughts through Gemma’s eyes. Josh seemed so sweet and genuine, despite being a bit of a player growing up. I would have liked to see more of Josh’s opinion of Gemma growing up, but there was a twist that would’ve been ruined by his POV. 

I will say that I’m not sure how realistic this book was in regards to the discussions of infertility and IVF. Gemma seemed particularly naive on the topic for someone ready to drop tons of money on IVF. She didn’t even realize that it doesn’t usually work on the first round–something I know as someone that has never tried to get pregnant either naturally or through IVF. There were many scenes where Gemma’s mother made her feel unworthy as a woman for not dating, going so far as to shame her body type.

IVF discussions aside, I really enjoyed this book. Sarah Ready is a new-to-me author, but I’ll certainly be reading more of her work in the future!

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